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Nintendo On the Hunt For More Scalps

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-not-literally dept.

Nintendo 232

rjch writes "After its recent win against mod chip piracy in the Australian Federal courts, Nintendo is now on the prowl for other companies to sue. 'Nintendo will pursue those who attempt to jeopardise the gaming industry by using all means available to it under the law. In particular, Nintendo is currently contemplating bringing further actions against other sellers of game copying devices in Australia.' The game company said since 2008 it had pursued over 800 actions in 16 countries to stop game piracy, confiscating 'well over' half a million game copiers for the Nintendo DS. The company said piracy affected sales, the price of video games, and employment in the video game industry." Reader daria42 sends in a related piece asking whether Nintendo is being too harsh over this and the recent $1.5 million settlement with a man who leaked New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

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I'm glad I don't buy gaming consoles. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210942)

I'm glad I don't buy gaming consoles. I wouldn't want to be supporting this sort of legalistic chicanery.

Re:I'm glad I don't buy gaming consoles. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211390)

Yeah, you should be safe if you stick to PC games, movies, and music. Oh wait...

Re:I'm glad I don't buy gaming consoles. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211882)

Who said I bother to buy any of those, either?

Fuck, I don't even own a PC. I have a Blackberry, and I use it for email and Slashdot. I don't play computer games.

If I want music, I get out my guitar and play some. Or I go down to the pub, and listen to some live bands.

Basically all moves today are shit. I haven't been to a movie theater since about 1980. If I want that sort of entertainment, I go get tickets to a local play.

Re:I'm glad I don't buy gaming consoles. (1)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211814)

this is what they invented emulaters and roms for never have to buy over priced anything every again ;P

Australia giving kick backs...? (-1, Offtopic)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210950)

I'm about 99% sure LOLStraia is going to give Nintendo wonderful kick backs because of its promotion of "family friendly games" that lines up perfectly with their war on art-crimes. They have to keep their babies butt powdered, less it cease playing poster child and start complaining about the game violence ban.

Business model (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210958)

It's all about the business model.

Another way around it could be to actually offer the game itself for free, but it's restricted until you connect to an online service where you can upgrade and interact with other players.

But that only works for some games and consoles.

It's a balancing act to get everything right since if you get it wrong you will insult your customers and loose the business.

Re:Business model (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211294)

That's just a terrible idea, most people never take their console online. Also it's not a business model, it's DRM.

Sure it does (1)

Jerrei (1515395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210976)

"The company said piracy affected [...] the price of video games" Amusingly enough, "the company" didn't mention whether or not this effect was positive or negative, or for whom.

Re:Sure it does (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211084)

I think it's pretty well documented at this point that piracy in most cases has at worst an only slightly negative effect, and in many cases a positive one. People who don't want to pay simply aren't going to, even if that means they just don't play the game at all. But people who do play, even if they pirated, may generate sales for the company through word of mouth.

Re:Sure it does (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211324)

Dunno, if all your heavy users end up buying flash carts and downloading complete ROM sets that seems like a quite difficult sell to me. Even if they generate word of mouth, the heavy users tend to have different preferences than average users and their word of mouth may very well end up as "flash carts are awesome!". The DS has a very low tie-in ratio so it's not like anybody's making up for the pirating heavy users.

Re:Sure it does (2, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211788)

People who don't want to pay simply aren't going to, even if that means they just don't play the game at all. But people who do play, even if they pirated, may generate sales for the company through word of mouth.

Seems like youre ignoring whether or not the act is right or wrong, and simply focusing on the net effects for society. I was under the impression that the basic purpose of a justice system was to punish actions that are wrong-- that is, to mete out justice.

I dont mean to support the judgement one way or the other, but it seems like every time one of these conversations on piracy comes up, everyone wants to justify it by claiming that the net effect is good for society. I would reply that true or not, that is irrelevant; if a person is not entitled to a product, and they get ahold of it, it seems perfectly valid for the justice system to punish them (within reason).

Re:Sure it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211904)

Legality is not the same as being "right" and illegality is not the same as being "wrong." Thinking that they are the same has caused more injustice and immorality than any other thought in human history.

pricing (1)

geoffaus (623283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211006)

Somehow I doubt their claim that piracy effects the price of video games - im sure they would keep charging whatever they can get away with either way. Conversely though I think if they reduced the price of games it would reduce piracy too.

Re:pricing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211088)

take a look on Amazon at any recent game released on ps3, xbox 360 and PC. The more commonly pirated PC version is always $10/£10 cheaper

Two reasons PC games can be cheaper (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211166)

The PC version is cheaper for at least three reasons I can think of:
  1. Sony and Microsoft monopolize the manufacturing for games on their console platforms, charge a substantial royalty per copy, and enforce this through code signing. On the other hand, Microsoft does not require that PC video game publishers pay for the "Games for Windows" program.
  2. On PCs, downloadable continued play packages (DLC) have to compete with freely distributed mods. Mod developers generally do not pass the "your organization must be this tall to develop for our platform" bar that the console makers set.
  3. Console games, especially those rated E through T, are more likely to support split screen due to bigger TVs, but the feature gets left out of PC games because there aren't enough home theater PCs to justify the effort to most publishers. Nor do most PC games appear to support the sort of "spawn installations" for LAN play that StarCraft supported. Not having to optimize for split screen cuts some of the development and testing effort, but it makes multiplayer more expensive for households with more than one gamer. So it's not the choice between a $60 game for a PS3 and a $100 game, one copy for each of the two gaming PCs in your household.

Right to Tinker. (5, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211016)

Conveniently what gets forgotten with "anti-piracy" jackbooting is my right to tinker [freedom-to-tinker.com] . I don't give a damn that console makers want to totally lock down "their" systems. It's not "theirs" its mine, I bought it at the store. All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull. Go away, it's mine - you don't like that? In a perfect world it wouldn't be my problem, but hey, we get the best laws money can buy.

Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211078)

Conveniently what gets forgotten with "anti-piracy" jackbooting is my right to tinker.

There are devices designed for tinkering, such as Macs, other PCs, PDAs running Maemo (now MeeGo), PDAs and phones running Android, and PDAs and phones running Windows Mobile. There are devices designed for controlled tinkering, such as Xbox 360, iPod Touch, and iPhone. And then there are devices not designed for tinkering, such as Sony or Nintendo video game systems and "feature phones". If you plan on tinkering, take the potential for tinkering into account before you buy a device.

All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull.

It's Microsoft saying "There are other devices more suited to Linux than an Xbox." If you want a console-sized PC with NVIDIA graphics, I'd recommend an Acer Aspire Revo.

Re:Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211266)

Where I'm coming from is that it's mine, it's sitting in my living room. I actually can live without Live if it came to that but here's where they get me: someday there will be a system update. This proverbial update will brick my hardware because it assumes that I don't own it. All I'm asking for is a menu option: "Boot other OS" It's simple, and if mandated by government - you know Microsoft won't do it - then there is zero percent chance the proverbial system update will take away my hardware.

Then vote for XNA or a used fat PS3 (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211436)

All I'm asking for is a menu option: "Boot other OS"

I understand that. Have you tried a used fat PS3 instead of an Xbox 360? And have you tried joining XNA Creators Club, which (incidentally) Apple copied for the iPhone developer program?

It's simple, and if mandated by government

I don't see that happening any time soon. In 2002, when the current President of the U.S. Senate was a senator, he introduced anti-counterfeiting legislation [theregister.co.uk] that would have pretty much criminalized homebrew for being "counterfeit".

Re:Then vote for XNA or a used fat PS3 (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211466)

Eventually people who understand technology - truly - will be old enough to be judges.

Re:Then vote for XNA or a used fat PS3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211596)

Eventually people who understand technology - truly - will be old enough to be judges.

By that time, the technology may have changed sufficiently that we'll still have the same problems.

Re:Then vote for XNA or a used fat PS3 (1)

IQgryn (1081397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211874)

Last I checked, Biden was Vice President.

Re:Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211888)

All I'm asking for is a menu option: "Boot other OS"

In other words, all youre asking for is that they change the product to suit you. The product you bought does not have that option, nor was it advertised as such, and i think it is unreasonable to demand that they call in their developers to modify the product for your preferences.

Some day you will understand that in the real world, you cant just go buy an iphone, then jailbreak it, then apply an update and brick your phone, and expect to be reimbursed for it. When you take a product out of spec, it is at your own risk. You are right that it is your product, and you are free to use it however you want. If you want to smash it with a hammer, you can! It simply will not work afterwards. Likewise, if you mod a Wii, and want to apply an update, you can! It just may not work afterwards.

I also do not think they are prosecuting people for using mods-- if you want to create your own modchip and use it, im sure they wouldnt really care (though you might brick the wii). The issue is that many of these devices are being sold for the express purpose of piracy (and I would not be suprised if thats how they were advertised), and it is the vendors of these chips that are being sued. There is always the issue of "right to back-ups", but thats really not relevant in this case, and I think most people understand that whenever it is brought up, it is with a wink and a nod; it is understood that 80% of people buying these devices have no intention of backing up their product, but rather leeching off of the industry by pirating games (which is what it is, no matter how you justify it).

Re:Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211954)

The root of the issue is that over the last two decades or so law has been continually pushed towards corporate favor. By the time I reached the age where I could reasonably add my voice to the debate the issue has become mostly moot. They stole it, not with this device but over the history of devices. I want my devices back, I don't expect to get them back but at least I can show you as well why I think it is wrong.

Re:Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (1)

bmk67 (971394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211932)

All I'm asking for is a menu option: "Boot other OS"

Let's get this straight.

You bought a product that does not have feature X. It's not advertised to have feature X. It's well known that it does not have feature X.

And yet, you want the government to step in and mandate that Microsoft provide feature X?

I think it's time you adjusted your expectations.

P.S. Your sig is hilarious considering the line you're taking here.

Re:Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211988)

;) I can add feature X but I somewhere lost the right to do so.

P.s. my sig is the ideal, not the actual.

Re:Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211280)

I installed linux - ubuntu - on my fat PS3, which was a process actually supported by Sony.
shame that the newer ones don't support this. anyone would think that sony caught wind that someone had broken the security on the ps3 ;-)

Re:Then vote with your $$$ for tinkerable devices (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211912)

Or maybe it hit them that all these researchers were getting really powerful computing devices at a massive discount and at Sony's loss. They dont make money on the console, you know, its the games that make them their money back.

Re:Right to Tinker. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211114)

All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull. Go away, it's mine - you don't like that? In a perfect world it wouldn't be my problem, but hey, we get the best laws money can buy.

You're half right. You own the XBOX, you should have the freedom to tinker. You don't own Live. It's a service, which runs on servers owned and maintained by Microsoft. They (rightfully) are able to do whatever they want with their networks, including but not limited to kicking off modded consoles.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211152)

I just want to be able to boot into Linux, have all the fun I want compiling my kernal or what-not *THEN* shutdown Linux, boot normally into XBox and join a live game and *NOT* have my console banned because some nefarious unsupported hack was detected.

Re:Right to Tinker. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211248)

And conversely, Microsoft wants people who will be connecting to their matchmaking systems to have stock, default hardware. Microsoft wants to mitigate issues causes by people interested in cheating online. Microsoft wants to minimize the time that they have to spend on CSR because of the modding community.

I just want to be able to boot into Linux, have all the fun I want compiling my kernal or what-not *THEN* shutdown Linux, boot normally into XBox and join a live game and *NOT* have my console banned because some nefarious unsupported hack was detected.

Microsoft gives you this option. Go buy a developer kit for several thousand dollars. You can have your cake and eat it too.

{Writers note: don't get me wrong. I hate the DMCA, I hate copywrong restrictions, I hate DRM. But, in the same regard, Microsoft has it's own rights too. Your freedom to tinker stops at the front door of Microsofts' property. Their property being their servers.}

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211268)

And conversely, Microsoft wants people who will be connecting to their matchmaking systems to have stock, default hardware.

That's not what headkase was talking about. He wants something similar to the "Other OS" support on early revisions of the PLAYSTATION 3 console: an Xbox partition that can see Live but can't see the Linux partition and a Linux partition that can't see Live or the Xbox partition.

Re:Right to Tinker. (0, Redundant)

Badaro (594482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211498)

If that's what he wanted, then why the hell didn't he just buy a PS3 instead of a X360?

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211564)

They all suck, Xbox is where I started: the issue needs to be worked through across *all* manufacturers. It's not going to be addressed from them so it means that unfortunately it would take government to step in. Thats not going to happen, so the best we can do is reach an understanding that *they* suck. Which is what I'm doing here. It's mine, a console is only the tip of the iceberg: pretty soon you'll have to sign an EULA to flush your toilet.

In a world of doesn't, buy what does. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211778)

the issue needs to be worked through across *all* manufacturers.

Sony and Nintendo have this problem. Acer, Dell, Motorola, and HTC do not.

it would take government to step in

This was true a couple years ago but not anymore. Nowadays, devices running Android OS and games for Android can replace a DS and games for DS, and a nettop PC with NVIDIA ION and PC games can replace a console and console games. The market came up with a solution without any government interference because manufacturers realized that in a world of doesn't, some people are willing to buy a device that does.

It's mine

Then give your money to manufacturers that understand that it's yours.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211946)

In other words, you want the government to mandate how the end product looks and acts? Thats a funny picture of capitalism you have there, and a rosy view of what the XBox would end up looking like if it were designed by the government.

It seems like you have an issue with the fact that not all products are designed to do everything. Get over it.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212020)

I want a programmable device to be re-programmable. I don't expect support if I do so I also do not want to be singled out for punishment if I do so.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211848)

You are correct, but only to a degree.

Microsoft should be able to say "We will not accept modified consoles on our servers." It's their server, they can accept or reject whatever they like from it. That's absolutely their right.

What is not their right, however, is to try to stop (through licensing terms, etc.), anyone from making an alternative server setup glad to accept modded consoles. That's MY server, if I run it, and I should be able to do so if I have the technical chops to make it happen.

The issue arose a long time ago with Blizzard and bnetd. Blizzard has a right of refusal on their own servers, but only if they're not going to stop others from running their own servers free from such restrictions. If they insist on everything being under their umbrella, they obligate themselves to accept and support everything. If they want to say "You want to do this, you're on your own", they need to then allow you to do it on your own. If Nintendo's got no problem with "unofficial" servers for modded consoles, I've got no problem with them banning them from the official ones. But when they're trying to crack down on manufacturers of mod chips, which do have legitimate purposes, they're over the line.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212036)

Although I think with blizzard the issue may also have been the fact that some of the code was probably copyrighted by Blizzard....

Re:Right to Tinker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211252)

You have a right to tinker, so create your own mod chips, your own devices. You don't necessarily have a right to buy the devices to do it for you.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211344)

Then I don't have the right to tinker *checks out back* Yup, misplaced my chip foundry.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211362)

And? One crucial part of the terms of service is that you must not modify your console if you want Live (and that's a much appreciated term because it stops a lot of cheating). You get those terms presented to you when you opt to create an account for XBox Live. The service is for unmodified consoles only. Hardly surprising, I can tinker with most of my PC games but if I take the modified version online the servers running the unmodified game will throw me out.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211392)

I have to modify my Xbox 360 to tinker. If there was a simple "Boot Other OS" menu option, I wouldn't have to modifiy my Xbox 360. The partitions and who can see what never have to meet, I just want to compile my kernel on my Xbox 360 because I'm a tinkerer and it's mine. If I exercise the right *without* a Boot Other OS menu option then there will be the system update someday that takes away my hardware by bricking it.

Re:Right to Tinker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211394)

And why would they WANT you running Linux exactly?
The exact reason they don't want OSes running on their hardware is so you will buy Windows on the PC.

Microsoft is in a dodgy position between their gaming and PC sides, they have to juggle it very carefully so they don't compete with their other sides and damage them.
This is why there is no browser. Microsoft already tried killing the web before, they certainly don't want you browsing from a console when you could be out there buying all their software. (in their strange twisted world where somehow everyone needs Office to write a simple letter...)

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211428)

You have found out exactly why there is no "Boot Other OS" menu option. They think my XBox 360 is theirs. I think it's mine. A bit of dissonance that needs some attention.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211960)

They did not add that because it doesnt make them money, it would be used by a minority of users, and they are a business. Im sure if you have a car it is yours as well, and it probably cannot switch between linux and whatever it normally runs; are you going to bitch at the manufacturer and demand that ability?

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212058)

Someday there will be a "standard" console. That console, like a car, will be sued to oblivion if you choose to use another manufacturers oil filter instead of the overpriced "official" one and are told you cannot. At this point in the market it is exploration, there shouldn't be a bazillion different brands of consoles - eventually. Holding each manufactuer to the task when it comes to interoperability will hasten the day the mythical standard console gets here. So we should.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211930)

You bought the wrong product; the device youre looking for is called a "PC", and it is advertised with this ability.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212090)

Convergence isn't coming fast enough for me.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211120)

And why exactly should any company be required to provide a service to an out of spec or non-compliant device? Other than you wanting to eat your cake and have it too? Especially when part of the service is providing a gaming service between supposed equal consoles and to provide a level playing field.

Re:Right to Tinker. (0, Troll)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211170)

See: Here [slashdot.org] . I want to be able to have a menu option that boots Linux, doesn't have anything to do with their service and when I'm done with my tinker, boot back into Xbox and play my live games without getting banned because I obviously don't own my hardware.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211260)

And why exactly should any company be required to provide a service to an out of spec or non-compliant device?

Car analogy time. In fact, it's so blatantly obvious I won't even bother writing it down. Instead, I'll turn your claim on its head. Why exactly should any company be allowed to refuse to provide a service to a compatible device?

Freedom of contract (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211334)

Why exactly should any company be allowed to refuse to provide a service to a compatible device?

Discrimination against customers can be illegal if it is against customers in a legally protected group (e.g. race, color, creed, sex) or if the seller has "market power" in the relevant market. Microsoft has no monopoly in set-top video game players (Sony, Nintendo, and Acer make nice ones), and modders do not form a legally protected group. So this discrimination falls under freedom of contract [google.com] .

Re:Right to Tinker. (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211258)

All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull.

No, really, it isn't. The software on the box is Microsoft's. The hardware is yours. If you make your own software and put it on the box, that's yours. The service is Microsoft's. The ToS for the service state that you're not to modify the system if you want to use the service. Don't like it? Don't subscribe to the service. You have every right to whinge about it, but no right to expect anyone to care.

I say this as an avid XBMC-on-Xbox user. Until Nouveau gains control over the TV encoder chips in the Xbox, Xbox Linux is less useful than running native apps. It's somewhat offensive that you have to be a big swinging dick to legally get the native XDK and have full control over what you develop for the Xbox OS, but you knew that going in.

Go away, it's mine - you don't like that?

Go away, it's Microsoft's service. You don't like that? Don't buy the box. When you do, you only vote for Microsoft to give you more platforms presented under terms that you don't like. Except, apparently you do like 'em, because you bought the box.

Today you can buy an Aspire Revo that spanks the Xbox in form factor, power consumption, and the system's capabilities, for what, twice the price of a new Xbox? Or perhaps you're talking about the 360, but you didn't say so. You have a right to tinker, but by the same token, you don't have the right to demand that Microsoft change their ToS to permit you to use a for-pay service after you do so.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211322)

Boot other OS. Simple, segregated systems. Allow me to leverage people much smarter than I in creating software which spreads Freedom. When I want to play XBox 360 (yes 360, should have mentioned that) games then boot in XBox OS. The partitions do not need to see each other. By forcing me to share partitions and software and bricking the console on system updates if I make my own Freedom, isn't that tying the issues?

Re:Right to Tinker. (5, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211432)

By forcing me to share partitions and software and bricking the console on system updates if I make my own Freedom, isn't that tying the issues?

You're not forced to share partitions. You can swap hard disks without even opening the console. Is it arduous to have to do this? Sure. Is there some other way to be sure that you're not using a rootkit to cheat? Nothing that Microsoft is capable of, that's for damned sure. Preventing the user from tampering with the operating system is the only responsible way to control cheating on Xbox Live. It's also the only way to ensure that users aren't taking content which Microsoft has promised will be protected out of the system. And of course it doesn't actually ensure that, but it does raise the bar considerably.

If you want to mess with the system, that is your right, as you say. And if Microsoft wants to ban you from Xbox Live as a result of messing with the system, that is their right. And if you don't want them to restrict you in this way, you have the option to not purchase their product. As I previously stated, purchasing the system is simply voting for the status quo. True, you can buy the system used; but if you want to purchase DLC (or for that matter, download game updates) you're going to have to follow the stated rules. Under capitalism, spending money is the most important type of vote you can cast. You get one vote per dollar. Capitalism is a kind of tyranny of the masses (who have a bunch of money if you count them en masse) and the asses — the robber barons who have all the cash. The masses want a locked-down Xbox Live, to which there are real benefits. But you're not forced to own the system, or use the service, so who's really being hurt here? The only way you can be injured is if you vote for injury. If you wanted a more open system, why didn't you buy one?

And before you ask, yes, I would love to be able to run Linux on my Xbox 360 without tampering with using Live. But since I can't, I guess if I really wanted to run Linux and have limited use of the hardware in the Xbox 360, I'd buy one of the many systems banned from Live for modification, which includes a modchip. These systems can't use Xbox Live, so they won't be getting the system update that blocks Free60... although Free60's root page is 404, fun fun fun.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211518)

If controlling the software on the harddrive is the only way to prevent cheating on Live, how does Windows prevent cheating? It may make it easier to prevent but saying it must be without regard to wider issues is a strawman. I am fully willing to abide my Microsoft's rules when connecting to their service. Banning my console when my other operating system is detected but not active is the boogaboo I'd like to burn down Redmond place over.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211714)

If controlling the software on the harddrive is the only way to prevent cheating on Live, how does Windows prevent cheating?

If you mean Windows on PC, it doesn't. If you mean Windows on the Xbox 360 (the Xbox and the Xbox 360 both run Windows derivatives, in spite of Microsoft's occasional assertions to the contrary, as revealed by Xbox and Xbox 360 developers on numerous occasions) then it does this by preventing you from running software that allows you to tamper with what is on the system. Without going to some effort, you cannot run non-signed executables on either system; the methods for doing so are generally detectable, again with some effort, this time on Microsoft's part.

I am fully willing to abide my Microsoft's rules when connecting to their service.

You can prevent these connections if you like.

Banning my console when my other operating system is detected but not active is the boogaboo I'd like to burn down Redmond place over.

It's the only (halfway) reliable way to prevent you from using that software to tamper with the system on other levels. It's not foolproof, but then, nature continually builds better fools.

Microsoft has made it clear time and again that connection to Xbox Live with a modified console is not permitted. This was far from being a secret before the Xbox 360 came out. You bought a 360 in spite of this, and now you are complaining about terms which you knew about, or should have known about. I knew that once I hacked up my original Xbox, I wouldn't be permitted to connect it to Xbox Live. I decided that I didn't care about Live, or at least not nearly as much as I care about running XBMC, so I hacked the Xbox. The 360 takes much more advantage of Live, even if you don't pay, so I haven't messed with my 360. I do take exception to the lengths which Microsoft has gone to in order to prevent me from running alternate software on my Xbox 360, but I still believe they have the right to prevent me from connecting to Xbox Live if I do so. And if I were really that offended, I would not have purchased a 360, even used as I did. I have bought new games (including via Live) for the 360, so Microsoft has got some of my money. Obviously it doesn't bother me very much. You can be as bothered by it as you like, but as long as it wasn't a secret when you bought the system (which it wasn't) you have no right to complain after you have paid Microsoft to maintain the current state of affairs. You have stated in the only terms which matter that you would like them to do so. Thus, I do not actually believe a word you're saying. You want a restricted Xbox Live, and said so loudly and clearly.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211910)

To get Linux on an Xbox 360 right now you have to modify the hardware. If Microsoft recognized that their customers don't have to drink Microsoft Kool-Aid they would provide a "Boot Other OS" option. The other OS does not connect to XBox Live, does not run Xbox 360 games and is purely there are recognition that *I* own the machine. With the proper Freedom bits built into Microsoft's OS software I do not need to bypass their "protections" or modify MY hardware. When I was running Xbox OS my hardware would not be modified and neither would Microsoft's software. Ball's in their court they just choose not to play because no one is making them.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211962)

To get Linux on an Xbox 360 right now you have to modify the hardware.

Only if you have a recently-updated 360. There's a game-related hack to get around it [xbox-linux.org] , although the Free60 website's front page is currently 404 so they're not serving up any info on the hack.

Ball's in their court they just choose not to play because no one is making them.

They are playing the game, and you have implicitly accepted their rules by giving them money for the product as it stands. I can't make this any clearer without drawing you a diagram.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211356)

I think you're forgetting who pays the money. The customer pays for the console, pays for the games, and pays for XBox Live. If MS really wants them all to take their business elsewhere, I'm sure customers would be glad to see MS go out of business.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211618)

Microsoft has mixed so many revenue sources into one communal funding pot that the feedback mechanism of voting with your wallet doesn't apply to them anymore. If you want to get justice out of them they need to be taken to court now. Unfortunately the "justice" department doesn't have enough justice to do so nowadays.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211998)

If people stop paying for the xbox, then im fairly certain MS will not continue to churn out the same thing that has been failing.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

imerso (1445543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211298)

I think TFA is about another thing: PIRACY, not tinkering. Sorry guys, I agree with Nintendo fighting copy devices... come on, copy devices??? Are the guys who build those copy devices giving them away for free??? I am pretty sure not.

Re:Right to Tinker. (2, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211364)

Tinkering is always swept under the big piracy rug. If tinkering was addressed separately it wouldn't need to be associated with piracy. Until manufacturers specifically address tinkering then whenever piracy comes up then the tinkerers have to speak up too. Because until tinkering tools are available you have to use piracy tools.

And what's your objection to XNA? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211524)

If tinkering was addressed separately

Then it would be called XNA. Not that it's without flaws [pineight.com] , but at least Microsoft is trying to make a sandbox for Xbox 360 tinkerers, doing more than Nintendo has ever done.

Re:And what's your objection to XNA? (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211712)

XNA doesn't run on Linux which is what I run. I want to get my Open OS onto my Xbox not further buy into closed systems. And buy too.

Re:And what's your objection to XNA? (1)

imerso (1445543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212008)

Sorry to ask, but... what's the point of running Linux under the XBOX??? Can you still run the XBOX games? No? The I really can't see a single reason for running Linux under it. For things like this I still prefer to use a general purpose personal computer, not a videogame.

Shahrukh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211352)

Conveniently what gets forgotten with "anti-piracy" jackbooting is my right to tinker [freedom-to-tinker.com] . I don't give a damn that console makers want to totally lock down "their" systems. It's not "theirs" its mine, I bought it at the store. All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull. Go away, it's mine - you don't like that? In a perfect world it wouldn't be my problem, but hey, we get the best laws money can buy.

Conveniently what gets forgotten with "anti-piracy" jackbooting is my right to tinker [freedom-to-tinker.com] . I don't give a damn that console makers want to totally lock down "their" systems. It's not "theirs" its mine, I bought it at the store. All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull. Go away, it's mine - you don't like that? In a perfect world it wouldn't be my problem, but hey, we get the best laws money can buy.

Conveniently what gets forgotten with "anti-piracy" jackbooting is my right to tinker [freedom-to-tinker.com] . I don't give a damn that console makers want to totally lock down "their" systems. It's not "theirs" its mine, I bought it at the store. All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull. Go away, it's mine - you don't like that? In a perfect world it wouldn't be my problem, but hey, we get the best laws money can buy.

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Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211380)

Conveniently what gets forgotten with "anti-piracy" jackbooting is my right to tinker. I don't give a damn that console makers want to totally lock down "their" systems. It's not "theirs" its mine, I bought it at the store.

Perhaps it gets forgotten because there is no such thing as the "right to tinker". Read the contract you agreed to when you bought the device. It's yours, but still you don't necessarily have the "right to tinker". People enter into contracts with one another which involves transaction of property with some restrictions placed on the buyer all the time. Check real estate contracts for example. The price structure of Nintendo consoles and games is as it is because it assumes that each game would have to be bought. That was the deal from the start. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If anybody can copy games as much as they like then the price of consoles would have to be much higher to reflect the full r&d and production costs, and perhaps the whole business model of game consoles wouldn't be viable at all.

Re:Right to Tinker. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211680)

In effect I am being sentenced for the actions of other people. Really. Just because something is in a contract doesn't make it right, and eventually seen: legal.

Re:Right to Tinker. (2, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212018)

You agreed to the contract though! So you really dont have a leg to stand on-- and if this was a case of "shrink wrap contract" that "I didnt have a chance to read :( " then you should have returned it-- unlike software, 99% of stores have NO issue supplying refunds for consoles. It really sounds like youre bitter because the world doesnt revolve around you and MS didnt build the features you want into the device you purchased. Why dont you just build your own damn powerpc setup and tinker with it instead of demanding MS spend dev time and resources catering to you?

Re:Right to Tinker. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211856)

All this crap preventing me from running Linux on my XBox without screwing up Live (if I wanted it) is bull.

I believe the hacker manifest [linuxsilo.net] would be appropriate here. They're all alike.

Homebrew 90% of the reason I bought a DS (4, Interesting)

Scoth (879800) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211030)

Personally, looking at what homebrew was available and such for a DS was a large portion of the reason I bought it in the first place. I also got good use out of DSLinux for random stuff until I got my ipod touch (jailbroken, of course) which gives me everything dslinux has and more.

It's a shame there's not a better way to separate out the homebrew and piracy. Although I suppose Nintendo probably wouldn't like the homebrew either since it's "competition"

Re:Homebrew 90% of the reason I bought a DS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211302)

Personally, looking at what homebrew was available and such for a DS was a large portion of the reason I bought it in the first place. I also got good use out of DSLinux for random stuff until I got my ipod touch (jailbroken, of course) which gives me everything dslinux has and more.

Why not try something like Nokia N900?

No need to jailbreak ... the default settings include an xterm icon on the desktop!

Vote with your wallet! (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211342)

Instead of buying hardware (DS, iPod) from hostile manufactures and having to crack them simply to use your own devices, why don't you vote with your money and buy a SmartQ V5 [pocketables.net] ? It's small, cheap, waaay more powerful than a DS and it runs Ubuntu 9.10 and Android.

Or the V7 if you want a bigger screen (warning: don't confuse them with the older SmartQ 5 and SmartQ 7).

Or any of the many lesser known cheap Linux tablets/MIDs from small Chinese vendors. Many of them are just one apt-get away from being extremely useful pocketable computers.

DS installed base (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211576)

why don't you vote with your money and buy a SmartQ V5?

Because it didn't exist in the fourth quarter of 2005 when I bought my DS. PassMe + GBA Movie Player did exist. I was going to buy a Pandora PDA [open-pandora.org] instead, but after it got delayed so much, I bought an Asus Eee PC and put Ubuntu on it instead.

Re:Vote with your wallet! (1)

Scoth (879800) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211816)

Same as tepples, there weren't a lot of those sort of things around when I bought the DS. Especially not at the pricepoint of a DS. The SmartQ is actually pretty neat looking, might look into it.

It is very nice to see some very interesting things coming out of the Chinese manufacturers these days. For so long all you saw were crappy knockoffs (Pop Station) or incredibly cheap crap.

Re:Homebrew 90% of the reason I bought a DS (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211828)

It's a shame there's not a better way to separate out the homebrew and piracy.

There is a way, it's what the PS3 did: provide limited access to the hardware out of the box. This way, Linux tinkerers and emulator/homebrew players get (mostly) what they want, and pirates get nothing. Surprise surprise, the one system that followed this approach is still unhacked because not nearly as many intelligent people have had the motivation to hack it.

Spectrum of Headlines (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211136)

Nintendo On the Hunt For More Scalps

Certainly one way to look at it. Here's a spectrum of possible headlines:

  • Nintendo Promises Investors That Sales Will Be Protected
  • Nintendo Goes on Offensive to Protect Bread and Butter
  • Nintendo Values Low Percentage of Sales Over Homebrew
  • Nintendo Sets Legal Precedent, Proceeds to Push the Envelope with More Prosecutions
  • Nintendo On the Hunt For More Scalps
  • After Realizing Its Bloodlust Has Not Yet Been Satiated, Nintendo Creaks Open Its Coffin to Aim Its Legion of Lawyers on More Third Party Companies Just Looking to Make a Buck by Helping Hobbyists Only to Be Raped by Nintendo in Front of Their Own Children By Way of the Twisted "Justice" System the World Has Come to Embrace

So, congratulations, you had one final step to go before I would have considered your headline over the top or 'spin.'

Re:Spectrum of Headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211176)

Nintendo ignored by the big piracy players, goes off to Australia where it can be heard.

Seriously, I think there are bigger fish to fry, some of them could pay the 15 million, or more.

Re:Spectrum of Headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211242)

Oops wrong moderation.

Re:Spectrum of Headlines (1)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211884)

That's classic! I was thinking the same thing.

Nintendo shouldn't waste their time. (1)

orsty3001 (1377575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211158)

If you took away the ability to pirate DS or Wii games by snapping your fingers. You'd find most of the people that download these games would never buy them. I bet sales of the consoles themselves would decline too. I don't know the numbers of people that pirate vs buy games but I'm sure a lot more time is wasted worrying about it over what they actually accomplish.

Piracy is an industry as well (1)

aflag (941367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211200)

The company said piracy affected sales, the price of video games, and employment in the video game industry.

And stealing from pirates affects the sales, price and employment in the piracy industry.

There was no judgement (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211206)

The 1.5 million dollar "Judgement" over the SMBW leak was actually an out of court settlement, it never went to trial and the agreement was sealed. The likely scenario is that Nintendo had him by the balls but offered him a deal...become the posterboy of "Piracy Baaad, Nintendo Gooood" and they let him off the hook. The way they have been wheeling around liking a walking public service announcement I highly doubt real money was involved at all. But so far its done the trick, lots of people freaked out.

Give 'em hell (1)

hellocatfood (937756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211210)

No, Nintendo is not being too harsh to the guy who leaked Super Mario Bros. It's one thing to leak software/games that have been out, but to release it before it's out? He's stupid for thinking it was a good idea.

What are they thinking? (2, Interesting)

drej (1663541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211240)

The only reason I kept my Wii is because of all the homebrew you can run on it. If it weren't for that I'd have sold it a long time ago. Why is Nintendo so eager to alienate everyone who isn't a housewive or a "casual gamer"? Why are they trying so hard to alienate their entire former fanbase? First they stomp down on the fanmade Zelda movie, now they're prowling around sueing everyone they don't like. Why? As if piracy is really hindering their profits. The main customers for Nintendo are now casual gamers who don't even know about homebrew and therefore shove enough money down Nintendos throat anyway. Everyone else wouldn't want to buy or keep a Wii on the account of there being less and less worthwile games, so the result is that Nintendo is actually losing business by hunting down everything piracy- and homebrew related. I know I'm gonna get modded down as Flamebait, but I don't care.

Re:What are they thinking? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211336)

It has been made quite clear that Nintendo does not care if they lose the market segment that is not interested in utilizing Nintendo hardware within the parameters that Nintendo desires. Whether this sort of attitude makes any sense at all to other people is immaterial... it is still their choice to make.

Why Wii? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211370)

The only reason I kept my Wii is because of all the homebrew you can run on it.

What makes a Wii better for homebrew than, say, the Aspire Revo that drinkypoo mentioned [slashdot.org] ? Is Wii's Hollywood GPU really that much more powerful than a GeForce 9400M, and if so, does homebrew really take advantage of it?

Re:Why Wii? (2, Insightful)

drej (1663541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212066)

I'm not saying it's better. It's just the only reason I kept my Wii, which I've originally bought for the games oh so long ago. As there are barely any games left worth playing (at least for me) the ability to run homebrew relatively hassle-free (you don't even need a modchip) was a huge reason for me to keep it. Of course there are other, and probably better alternatives, but why buy another piece of equipment when you already got a working one you're not using for anything else? (I know I'm voicing only my personal opinions here by the way, but I'm sure there are others who think alike).

ehh (1)

tiberiumx (1221152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211348)

I'm disappointed and refuse to buy Nintendo products from now on, but this pretty much resolves to a nop. Nintendo hasn't made a product I care about since I was in high school and there isn't really any sign of that changing.

Legal fees vs. piracy revenue (1)

HeraldMage (50053) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211350)

I can't help but wonder that the cost of "800 actions in 16 countries" isn't somehow costing Nintendo more in attorney's fees and court costs than they ever likely originally lost in the piracy in the first place. From all the cases I've read about in piracy proceedings, the person the company goes after never has the kind of cash the company would need to pay back the lawyers. If they wouldn't charge so much for the games (movies/TV/etc.) in the first place, people would probably be more inclined to purchase legitimately. Apple's about to break the 10 billion mark in the ITMS, so clearly there's a willingness to pay for content.

Re:Legal fees vs. piracy revenue (1)

imerso (1445543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211442)

I see this question differently: we're not obligated to buy games from any maker. If we don't agree with the pricing, why don't we MAKE OUR OWN? I will answer it to you: BECAUSE IT COSTS HIGH MONEY. So, if it costs high money to make, why should it be FREE at first place? And, repeating my other question, are the guys who build the copy devices giving them away for free???

They kill homebrew too (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211646)

we're not obligated to buy games from any maker. If we don't agree with the pricing, why don't we MAKE OUR OWN?

The article is about Nintendo DS. Without copier hardware, all DS games must be digitally signed by Nintendo, and Nintendo has a notorious "your organization must be this tall" policy [warioworld.com] . This policy is why you won't see Bob's Game [wikipedia.org] on a DS.

Go Nintendo! (0, Redundant)

imerso (1445543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211358)

Sorry guys, but I agree with Nintendo fighting the copy devices... I am generally favorable to free movements and all, but out of curiosity are the guys giving the copy devices away for free??? No? So they are not defending freedom at all, they're just earning MONEY the easy way. Not too different from thiefs.

you fa1l 1t.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211366)

Be treated by your lubrication. Y0u startt a holy war

FAIlZORS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31211572)

much as Windows for *BSD because are atten3ing a bunch of retarded your spare time writing is on the Knows that ever

New title: "Super Mario Bros. Scalp Hunt" (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211870)

Next: North American Indians file "IP" infringement claim over the collecting of scalps.

Then: Nintendo releases "Custers' Revenge", "Dr. Mario: Smallpox Edition"

As a hally Wii owner/player (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31211896)

I have no problems with them going after legitimate game pirates or real sea pirates. I DO however have a huge problem with them/corporations trying to make it illegal to tinker, modify, sell, wipe my ass with hardware that I own. I bought it and its mine if you don't like it you can come and pick up your "rented property" and give me my money back.
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